Youth Mental Health Champions Students received ‘Youth Champion’ training
grades 7 to 10 students from seven Bluewater district School Board schools joined for an interactive and informative day of mental health training oct. 25 at the Bluewater outdoor Education centre near Wiarton.
the youth mental health and addiction champions Project is offered through the registered nurses association of ontario, Public health units, and School mental health aSSiSt, to support students in becoming mental health leaders within their schools
Participating students have been identified by their peers as ‘natural helpers’ to receive ‘youth champion’ training, which empowers them to promote wellness initiatives in their schools, while reducing mental health stigma and raising substance abuse awareness.
the prospective youth champions engage in a day of in-depth learning about mental health and wellbeing, which includes common misperceptions and stereotypes, the impact of stress, the importance of nutrition and sleep, resilience and coping strategies, the misuse of different types of substances, and available community resources. once the students have been designated as youth champions, they are connected with lead teachers in their respective schools as they work to coordinate initiatives to support their student peers.
the youth mental health and addiction champions Project is just one example of the many ways in which Bluewater district School Board is honouring its strategic priority to “ensure the well-being of students and staff in a safe supportive environment for teaching, learning and working.”
this encompasses the goal to “create conditions where students, staff, and parents/caregivers are comfortable and confident in seeking help and responding to student mental health and emotional well-being.” Bluewater’s youth champions are leading the way in actualizing this critically important priority and associated goal!
the day was made possible thanks to the partnership between the grey Bruce health unit and Bluewater district School Board, in addition to generous funding support from Bruce Power. an amount of $200 in prize money received from a telephone book photo contest in the Bruce Peninsula Press was also donated by Bluewater’s mental health lead rene langen to assist with the event.